New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Active Participation - 'Spirit of the Liturgy' by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Of course, external actions - reading, singing, the bringing up of the gifts - can be distributed in  sensible way. By the same token, participation in the Liturgy of the Word (reading, singing) is to be distinguished from the sacramental celebration proper. We should be clearly aware that external actions are quite secondary here. Doing really must stop when we come to the heart of the matter: the oratio. (The Eucharist prayer). It must be plainly evident that the oratio is the heart of the matter, but that it is important precisely because it provides a space for the actio (action) of God.  Anyone who grasps this will easily see that it is not now a matter of looking at or toward the priest, but of looking together toward the Lord and going out to meet him.
The almost theatrical entrance of different players into the liturgy, which is so common today, especially during the Preparation of the Gifts, quite simply misses the point. If the various external actions (as a matter of fact, there are not very many of them, though they are being artificially multiplied) become the essential in the liturgy, if the liturgy degenerates into general activity, then we have radically misunderstood the 'theo-drama' of the liturgy and lapsed almost into parody. True liturgical education cannot consist in learning and experimenting with external activities. Instead one must be led towards the essential actio that makes the liturgy what it is, toward the transforming power of God, who wants, through what happens in the liturgy, to transform us and the world.  In this respect, liturgical education today, of both priests and laity, is deficient to a deplorable extent. Much remains to be done here.

A little Christmas Meditation - Dr. Plinio Correa De Oliveira

The state of world events is so uncertain that it is impossible to know the conditions in which we will celebrate Christmas or what the New Year will bring. This will be a Christmas in which Americans are filled with uncertainty, trials and insecurity.

One could rightly ask: “Is it proper to have these concerns during Christmastime? Shouldn’t we have only consolations, joys and satisfactions during this season?”

To answer this question, we should consider the first Christmas night. Saint Joseph and, above all,Our Lady were filled with inexpressible joy in the grotto in Bethlehem.

However, before the Child Jesus was born,they suffered affliction. They had spent the night seeking a dignified place for Our Lord’s birth. Saint Joseph was humiliated seeing that his spouse would have to deliver the Christ Child in a stable where animals ate. While there could not have been a more stupendous event that evening, neither could there have been humbler surroundings.

The manger was all Saint Joseph and Our Lady had to offer the Child Jesus. Thus, the evening was filled with unfathomable joys, but also had its sufferings.

Although the Christ Child knew that Providence had dictated the conditions of His birth, it is possible that Our Lady and Saint Joseph did not know. They could have been filled with doubts concerning the reasons for their poor surroundings, perhaps even attributing them to a wrong doing of their own. Though faultless, Saint Joseph, who was most responsible for providing for the Holy Family,probably asked Our Lord’s pardon for the lowly accommodations he had furnished for His delivery.

Nevertheless, the joys of the evening so surpassed the sadness in it, that the latter was completely forgotten.
We should celebrate Christmas in the same manner, even though we are concerned with the crisis in the Church and breakdown of society and aware of our insufficiency to face these calamities.

The realization that we are chosen to follow Our Lady throughout these troubling times should fill us with joy and overcome the sadness we endure because our personal failings and the godlessness that surrounds us.
At the feet of the newborn Christ Child, we should thank Him for having called us to this struggle and these times. We should realize that we will be capable of persevering because of His Redemption for which His birth was a necessary condition. We ought to express this gratitude through the intercession of Our Lady, the Universal Mediatrix, and Saint Joseph.

We should ask Saint Joseph, Our Lady and the Christ Child for a soul continually mindful of Our Lady’s words at Fatima: “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

Thus, we will be able to overcome all sadness and advance joyfully in the fight, seeking heroism and even sacrifice.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Once in Royal David's City

I was on youtube and I found this in the morning today.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

St. John the Evangelist - 27th December 2012 - a commentary by Dr. Plinio

Biographical selection:

After martyrdom, the most noble and courageous sacrifice one can make to God is that of the virginity and chastity. This is why the liturgical calendar chose the first day after Christmas to celebrate of martyrdom of St. Stephen, model of the martyrs, and the second day, December 27, to celebrate the feast of St. John, model of virgins.

St. John was from the family of David, and therefore a member of the family of the Most Holy Virgin; he was a relative of Our Lord by flesh. While the others were Apostles and Disciples, he was the Friend of Our Lord. This predilection was because of his virginity.

He was, according to the Gospel, the Disciple that Jesus loved. This simple phrase is enough to give him glory. This love was for St. John the starting point of the other gifts he received. He was, for example, the first defender of the Divine Word, the Son as co-substantial to the Father, which was being denied by a heresy. The teachings of St. John on this point soar to the heights of the Divine Sun, like an eagle that flies toward the blazing star.

If the face of Moses shone with light after he spoke with God, how much more brilliant and resplendent the face of St. John would have been after he rested his head over the Heart of Jesus, where he received secret treasures of wisdom and science.

Christ was the son of Mary. When He died, Jesus left Mary to St. John. Who on earth could merit such a legacy? The Savior could have left the care of the Most Holy Virgin to Angels. But from the height of the Cross He saw his virgin Disciple, and his chastity made him worthy of such a priceless treasure. The beautiful comment of St. Peter Damian describes this very well: “Peter received the Church, the Mother of men, as his inheritance, but John received Mary, the Mother of God.”

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

There are many profound thoughts in this selection based on Dom Gueranger. I will not comment on all, but just several points.

First, it is very true that the sacrifice of virginity, the oblation of chastity, is so agreeable to God that it second only to martyrdom. This is because it confers on a soul a special affinity with God. Although chastity is a virtue that pertains to the body, it is principally a virtue of the spirit that rejects what is sordid and leaves the soul free to take wing in the realm of the spirit.

It represents a victory of the spiritual over the material that ennobles and increases the dignity of a human creature, giving him greater affinity with God. For this reason Our Lord loved St. John. He is remembered as the disciple that Jesus loved. The others were Apostles and Disciples, but he was the Friend, which means that he was the one closest to Him, the one whom Our Lord honored with a great confidence and intimacy. Our Lord had an appreciation for him that He did not have for the others.

An episode at the Last Supper is very characteristic in this respect. St. Peter wanted to know which of them would betray Our Lord after He told them that this would happen. So, St. Peter requested St. John to ask the question. St. Peter was not able to ask Our Lord directly and went to St. John as mediator.

The latter rested his head over Jesus’ chest and asked Him. You see here an allusion to the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. John with his ear on the Divine Chest heard the Heart of Jesus beating. He understood those pulsations not only as a manifestation of love for mankind but also of anguish and sorrow because the Passion was drawing near.

Therefore, St. John appears as a virgin soul especially close to Our Lord and very devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Second, another gift unarguably beyond compare is that of receiving Our Lady as Mother. When He was dying, Our Lord left this priceless treasure, Our Lady, to His friend and favorite Disciple. To receive Our Lady is to receive the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the first among creatures after Christ. To receive Our Lady is to receive everything that God can give to a man. He could give nothing greater than that.

Here you have, then, another manifestation of the love God has for virgin souls. Our Lady was a virgin – a virgin who gave birth to a virgin Son, who at His death gave her to a friend, the virgin Disciple who was St. John.

Third, as a true counter-revolutionary, Dom Guéranger understood well that a full picture of St. John could not be sketched without mentioning that he was one of the first fighters against heresy. The first heresy that was already starting at that time regarded the human and divine natures of Our Lord Jesus Christ. St. John started fighting against those heretics as soon as they appeared. He was, therefore, a precursor of all those combatants for the Catholic Faith who would exist until the end of time, until the moment when Elias and Enoch will return to fight against the Antichrist.

We have, therefore, ample requests to present to St. John in our prayers. We should ask him to help us acquire the same qualities of soul he had in order to receive the reward granted to him: to have Our Lady with us always.

Some notes from the book 'The Spirit of the Liturgy' - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Now the priest - the 'presider', as they now prefer to call him - becomes the real point of reference for the whole liturgy. Everything depends on him. We have to see him, to respond to him, to be involved in what he is doing. His creativity sustains the whole thing. Not surprisingly, people try to reduce this newly created role by assigning all kinds of liturgical functions to different individuals and entrusting the "creative" planning of the liturgy to groups of people who like to, and are supposed to, "make their own contribution."
Less and less is God in the picture. More and more important is what is done by human beings who meet here and do not like to subject themselves to a 'pre-determined pattern'.  The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself. The common turning toward the east was not a "celebration toward the wall"; it did not mean that the priest "had his back to the people": the priest himself was no regarded as so important. For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked together toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian liturgy the congregation looked together 'toward the Lord'. As one of the fathers of Vatican IIs Constitution on the Liturgy' J.A. Jungmann, put it, it was much more a question of priest and people facing in the same direction, knowing that together they were in a procession toward the Lord. They did not close themselves into a circle; they did not gaze at one another; but as pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us.

The Christmas Season Is a Time for Joy and Gratitude



The Christmas Season Is a Time for Joy and Gratitude - Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B


This is not the season for sighing or for weeping, for unto us a Child is born. He for whom we have been waiting is come, and He is come to dwell among us.



Great and long was our suspense; so much the more to let us love Him. The day will too soon come when this Child, now born to us, will be the Man of Sorrows, and then we will compassionate Him; but at present we must rejoice and be glad at His coming and sing around his crib with the angels. Heaven sends us a present of its own joy; we need joy, and forty days are not too many for us to get it well into our hearts. The Scripture tells us a secure mind is like a continuous feast, and a secure mind can only be where there is peace; now it is Peace that these blessed days bring to the earth; Peace say the Angels, to men of good will.



Intimately and inseparably united with this exquisite mystic joy is the sentiment of gratitude. Gratitude is indeed due to Him who, neither deterred by our unworthiness nor restrained by the infinite respect that becomes His sovereign Majesty, deigned to be born of His own creature, and have a stable for his birthplace.



Oh! How vehemently must He not have desired to advance the work of our salvation, to remove everything that could make us afraid of approaching Him, and to encourage us by His own example, to return, by the path of humility, to the heaven we had strayed from by pride!


Gratefully, therefore, let us receive the precious gift, this Divine Babe, our Deliverer.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

St John Eudes - Christ's relationship with man

A Christian has a union with Jesus Christ more noble, more intimate, and more perfect that the members of a human body with their head. He longs to be in you. He wants His breath to be your breath. His heart in your heart and His soul in your soul.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Solemn High Mass in the Extra-Ordinary form of the Roman Rite, for the 50th anniversary of priestly ordination of Fr Jonathan Robinson of the Toronto Oratory

I was asked to recored the Solemn High Mass in the Extra-Ordinary form of the Roman Rite, for the 50th anniversary of priestly ordination of Fr Jonathan Robinson, provost of the Toronto Oratory. I hope you enjoy it.
 Introit: Vocem Iucunditatis

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fire at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church, Brampton - 29 may 2012

Please pray that the culprits are found and justice is delivered.


At approximately 3:45 a.m. the morning of May 29, 2012, suspicious activity prompted a fire at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Brampton (8530 Chinguacousy Road).

The church sprinkler system and fire crews prevented further damage to the building. No one was inside the church at the time of the fire.

Local fire and police officials are investigating. It appears the blaze was deliberately set.

The church has suffered damage significant enough that it will remain closed for at least one week. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Book of Confidence - Chapter Four - Part 4


The Book of Confidence - Chapter Four - Part 4
The Sight of the Crucifix Should Revive Our Confidence

If ever in your intimate struggles you feel yourself weakening in confidence, meditate on the passages of the Gospel that I have just pointed out to you.

Contemplate that ignominious cross upon which your God expired. Look at His poor head crowned with thorns, falling inert upon His breast. Consider those candid eyes and the pale countenance whereon the precious blood coagulates. Look at the pierced feet and hands and at the mortally wounded body. Pay attention, above all, to the most loving Heart that was opened by the soldier’s lance; from it flows a few drops of bloodstained water. All this He gave you! How is it possible to distrust this Saviour?

From you, however, He expects the gratitude of affection. In the name of His love, in the name of His martyrdom, in the name of His death, make the resolution to avoid mortal sin in the future.

Weakness is great, I well know, but He will help you. In spite of having goodwill, you will perhaps have falls and relapses into evil, but the Lord is merciful. He only asks that you not let yourself fall asleep in sin, that you fight against bad habits.

Promise Him to confess promptly and never to pass through a night with a mortal sin on your conscience. If you keep this resolution courageously, you will be happy. Jesus will not have shed His precious Blood for you in vain.

Be calm regarding your intimate dispositions. In this way, you will have the right to serenely face the fearful problem of predestination. You will carry on your forehead the sign of the elect.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Book of Confidence - Chapter Four - Part 3


The Book of Confidence - Chapter Four - Part 3
God Grants Us All the Necessary Helps for the Sanctification and Salvation of Our Souls

Certain anguished souls doubt their own salvation. They dwell too much on their past faults; they think of the violent temptations that at times assault all of us; they forget the merciful goodness of God. This anguish can become a veritable temptation to despair.

While a young man, Saint Francis de Sales experienced a trial of this kind. He trembled at the thought of not being predestined to heaven and passed through a number of months in this interior martyrdom. A heroic prayer freed him: the Saint prostrated himself before an altar of Mary, beseeching the Virgin to teach him to love her Son with a charity as ardent on earth as the fear he had of not being able to love Him in eternity.

In this form of suffering, there is a truth of faith that should console us immensely.We are lost only by mortal sin.

This we can always avoid, and, even when we have suffered the disgrace of committing it, we can always be reconciled with God. An act of sincere contrition, made immediately, without postponement, will purify us, while we await the obligatory confession, which should be made without delay.

Certainly the poor human will should always distrust its weakness. But the Saviour will never refuse us the graces that we lack. He will also do everything possible to help us in the supremely important endeavour to save our souls.

Behold the great truth that Jesus Christ wrote with His precious Blood and that we are now going to reread together in the history of His Passion.

Have you ever reflected upon how the Jews were able to seize Our Lord? Do you believe, perhaps, that they succeeded in this crime by cunning or by force? Is it possible to think that, amid the great turmoil, Jesus was overcome because He was the weaker?

Certainly not. His enemies could do nothing against Him. In the three years of His preaching, they wanted to throw Him from a cliff; on various occasions they took up rocks to stone Him. Always, however, the Divine Word frustrated the plans of the impious; the sovereign force of God held back their hands, and Jesus always calmly withdrew, without anyone having been able to do Him the slightest harm.

In Gethsemane, the soldiers of the Temple came to take possession of His sacred person. Upon His merely uttering His name, the whole band of soldiers fell to the ground, gripped by a strange fear. The soldiers could rise only after being given permission by Him.

If Jesus was taken prisoner, if He was crucified, if He was immolated, it was because He so wanted it, in the plenitude of His liberty and His love for us. “He was offered because it was His own will.”5

If the Master unhesitatingly shed His precious Blood wholly for us, if He died for us, how could He refuse us the graces that are absolutely necessary for us and that He Himself merited for us by His sufferings?

During His Passion, Jesus mercifully offered these graces to the most guilty souls. Two Apostles had committed enormous crimes; to both He offered pardon. Judas betrayed Him with a hypocritical kiss. Jesus spoke to him with a touching gentleness; He called him His friend. By tender affection He sought to touch that heart hardened by avarice. “Friend, whereto art thou come?” “Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”6 This is the last grace of the Master to the ungrateful one.

It is a grace of such force that we will never be able to measure adequately its intensity. Judas, however, rejects it; he is lost, because he formally prefers that state.

Peter believes himself to be very strong. He had sworn to accompany the Master till death, but he abandons Him when he sees Him in the hands of the soldiers. Thereafter, he follows Him only from a distance. He enters trembling into the courtyard of the palace of the High Priest.

Three times he denies his Lord – because he fears the derision of a maidservant.With an oath he affirms that he does not know “that man.” The cock crows… Jesus turns and fixes his eyes on the Apostle, eyes filled with merciful and gentle censures. Their gazes meet.

It is a grace, a fulminating grace, that is carried to Peter by that gaze. The Apostle does not reject it; he goes out and weeps bitterly over his faults.

As in the case of Judas and Peter, Jesus always offers us graces of repentance and conversion.We can accept or refuse them. We are free! It is for us to decide between good and evil, between heaven and hell. Salvation is in our hands. The Saviour not only offers us His graces, He does more: He intercedes for us before the heavenly Father. He reminds Him of the pains suffered for our Redemption. He takes up our defence before Him; He excuses our faults.

“Father,” He exclaims in the anguish of the agony, “forgive them, for they know not what they do.”7 During the Passion, the Master had such a desire to save us that He did not cease for an instant to think of us.

On Calvary, He gives His last gaze to sinners; He pronounces one of His last words in favour of the good thief. He extends His arms wide on the Cross in order to indicate with what love He receives each repentant soul in His most loving Heart.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Book of Confidence - Chapter Four - Part 2


The Book of Confidence - Chapter four - part 2


Grace Can Sanctify Us in an Instant

Abyss of human weakness, tyranny of bad habits! How many Christians receive in the tribunal of Penance absolution for their sins. Their contrition is sincere, they make vigorous resolutions… and they fall again into the same sins, sometimes grave; the number of their falls grows without ceasing! Do they not have, then, abundant reason for discouragement?

Nothing is more just than that the evidence of our own misery keeps us humble. That it should make us lose confidence would be a catastrophe more dangerous than so many falls into error.

The soul that falls should rise immediately. It should not cease to implore the mercy of the Lord. Do you not know that God has His hours and can, in an instant, elevate us to a very high degree of sanctity?

Had not Mary Magdalen led a criminal life? Grace, nevertheless, transformed her instantaneously. Without transition, a sinner became a great saint. Now, then, the action of God has not been reduced in what it can do.

What it did for others it will be able to do for us. Do not doubt. Confident and persevering prayer will obtain a complete cure of our souls.

Do not tell me that time passes and that now, perhaps, your life is reaching its end.

Our Lord waited for the agony of the good thief in order to attract him victoriously to Himself. In one single minute, that man of such guilt converted! His faith and his love were so great that, in spite of his great crimes, he did not even pass through purgatory. He occupies an elevated place in heaven forever.

Let nothing, then, alter your confidence! Even though you be in the depths of the abyss, call out to heaven without ceasing. God will end by responding to your cry and will work His justice in you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Book of Confidence - Chapter Four part 1


Chapter Four
Confidence in God and Our Spiritual Necessities


Our Lord Is Merciful to Sinners

Divine Providence feeds the birds of the trees; It also takes care of our bodies. What is this body of misery? A fragile creature, one condemned to death and destined to be consumed by worms.

In the mad rush of life, we think that all things lead to business or to pleasures. However, every step moves us closer to the end. We ourselves drag our corpses to the edge of the grave.

If God so concerns Himself with perishable bodies, with what solicitude will He not look after our immortal souls? He prepares for them treasures of grace, whose riches exceed all that we can imagine. He sends them superabundant help for their sanctification and salvation.

These means of sanctification that the Faith puts at our disposal will not be studied here.

I merely wish to speak to the worried souls that one finds everywhere. With the Gospel in my hand, I will show them the emptiness of their fears.

Neither the gravity of their faults nor their multiple relapses into errors should overwhelm them.

On the contrary, the more they sense the weight of their own misery, the more they should lean upon God. Let them not lose confidence! However horrible their state may be, even though they may have led a disorderly life for a long time, with the help of grace, they can convert and be raised to high perfection.

The mercy of Our Lord is infinite; nothing exhausts it, not even faults that appear to us to be the most degrading and criminal ones. During His mortal life the Master received sinners with a truly divine goodness; He never refused them pardon.

Moved by the ardour of her repentance, Mary Magdalen enters the banquet hall. Without worrying about worldly conventions, she prostrates herself before the feet of Jesus, inundating them with tears. Simon, the Pharisee, contemplates the scene with a sarcastic air; he becomes indignant within himself. “If this man were a prophet,” he thinks, “he would know surely what this woman is worth. He would reject her with disdain.” But the Saviour does not reject her. He accepts her sighs, her tears, all the sensible signs of her humble contrition. He purifies her of her stains and showers her with supernatural gifts. And His Sacred Heart overflows with immense joy, while on high, in the Kingdom of His Father, the angels vibrate with jubilation and praise. A soul that was lost has been found; a soul was dead, and, behold, it is again restored to true life!

The Master is not content with receiving poor sinners with sweetness; He goes so far as to take up their defence. And is this not, furthermore, His mission? Did He not make Himself our advocate?1

One day they bring him a wretched woman, surprised in the flagrant act of her sin. The harsh law of Moses condemns her formally; the guilty person must die the slow torment of stoning.

Nevertheless, the Scribes and Pharisees wait impatiently for the sentence of the Saviour. If He pardons her, His enemies will accuse Him for despising the traditions of Israel. What will He do?

A single word will fall from His lips, and this word will be enough to confound the proud Pharisees and save the sinful woman.

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”2

An answer full of wisdom and of mercy. Hearing it, these arrogant men blush with shame. They withdraw, confounded, one after the other; the ancients are the first to flee.

And Jesus is left alone with the woman. “Where are they that accused thee?” He asks. “Hath no man condemned thee?”

She answers: “No man, Lord.” And Jesus continues: “Neither will I condemn thee! Go, and now sin no more!”3

When sinners come to Him, Jesus hurries to meet them. Like the father of the prodigal son, He is waiting for the return of the ungrateful ones. Like the good shepherd, He seeks after the lost sheep; and when He finds it, He puts it on His divine shoulders and restores it bloodstained
to the fold.

Oh! He will not irritate its wounds; like the good Samaritan, He will treat them with symbolic wine and oil. Over its sores, He will pour the balsam of penitence; and, in order to fortify it, He will make it drink of His Eucharistic chalice.

Guilty souls, do not fear the Saviour; it was especially for you that He came down to earth. Never renew the cry of despair of Cain: “My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon.”4 How this would amount to being ignorant of the Heart of Jesus!

Jesus purified Magdalen and pardoned the triple denial of Peter. He opened heaven to the good thief. In truth, I assure you, if Judas had gone to Him after the crime, Our Lord would have received him with mercy.

How, then, would He not pardon you as well?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Adoption

I found this website, it is very touching. If you have the time and money, please consider adopting one of these angels. If not could you spare some money towards their adoption. Or could you blog share this and pray for this cause.




http://reecesrainbow.org/category/waitingchildren/other-angel-boys


CLICK HERE to share Reece's Rainbow on Your Blog! Thank you!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Book of Confidence - Part 3 continues and ends


Chapter Three
Confidence in God and Our Temporal Necessities


Seeking First the Kingdom of God and His Justice

“Seek ye therefore first the Kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

It was thus that the Saviour concluded the discourse on Providence. Aconsoling conclusion, it includes a conditional promise; it depends on us to be benefited by it. The Lord will occupy Himself all the more with our interests when we concern ourselves with His interests.

It behoves us to stop and meditate on the words of the Master.

A question immediately arises: Where is the kingdom of God, which we must seek before all else?

“Within you,” the Gospel answers. “Regnum Dei intra vos est.”5

To seek the kingdom of God is, then, to erect a throne for Him in our souls, to submit ourselves entirely to His sovereign dominion. Let us keep all of our faculties under the merciful sceptre of the Most High. Let our intelligence be mindful of His constant presence; let our will conform itself in everything with His adorable will; let our hearts fly to Him frequently in acts of ardent and sincere charity. Then we shall have practised that “justice” which, in the words of the Scriptures, signifies the perfection of the interior life.

We shall have followed to the letter the counsel of the Master; we shall have sought the kingdom of God.

“And all these things shall be added unto you.”

There is, here, a kind of bilateral contract: On our part we work for the glory of the heavenly Father; on His part, the Father commits Himself to provide for our necessities.

“Cast thy care upon the Lord.” Fulfil the contract that He proposes to you; He will fulfil the given word. He will watch over you, and “He will  sustain you.”6

“Think of Me,” said the Saviour to Saint Catherine of Siena, “and I will think of thee.” And, centuries later, in the convent of Paray, He promised Saint Margaret Mary that those particularly devoted to the Sacred Heart would have success in their undertakings.

Happy the Christian who conforms well to this maxim of the Gospel! He seeks God, and God looks after his interests with His omnipotence; what can be lacking to him? “The Lord ruleth me; and I shall want nothing.”7

Practice the solid interior virtues, and thus avoid all disorder: the faults and vices that are the most common causes of failure and ruin.

Praying for Our Temporal Necessities

Confidence, as we have just been describing it, does not take away from us the obligation of prayer. In our temporal necessities, it is not enough for us to await the assistance of God; we must also ask Him for it.

Jesus Christ left us the perfect model of prayer. Therein He makes us ask for our “daily bread”: “Give us this day our daily bread.”

In regard to this obligation of prayer, is there not possibly frequent negligence on our part? What imprudence and what foolishness! We deprive ourselves, out of levity, of the protection of God, the only supremely efficacious one.

The Capuchins, the legend says, never die of hunger because they always piously recite the Our Father. Let us imitate them, and the Most High will not leave us wanting in our necessities. Let us ask, then, for our daily bread. It is an obligation imposed on us by faith and by charity to ourselves.

Can we raise our pretensions, however, and also ask for riches? Nothing is opposed to this, as long as this plea is inspired by supernatural  motives and we stay fully submissive to the will of God. The Lord does not prohibit the expression of our desires; on the contrary, He wishes us to be quite open with Him. Let us not expect, however, that He bend to our fantasies; the very Divine Goodness itself is opposed to this. God knows what is good for us. And He will concede to us the goods of the earth only if they can serve for our sanctification.

Let us hand ourselves over completely to the direction of Providence, saying the prayer of the wise man: “Remove far from me vanity, and lying words. Give me neither beggary, nor riches; give me only the necessaries of life. Lest perhaps being filled, I should be tempted to deny, and say: ‘Who is the Lord?’ or being compelled by poverty, I should steal, and forswear the name of my God.”8


Footnotes to Chapter 3


  1. “Ideo dico vobis, ne solliciti sitis animae vestrae quid manducetis, neque corpori vestro quid induamini. Nonne anima plus est quam esca, et corpus plus quam vestimentum? “Respicite volatilia caeli, quoniam non serunt, neque metunt, neque congregant in horrea, et Pater vester caelestis pascit illa. Nonne vos magis pluris estis illis? “Et de vestimento quid solliciti estis? Considerate lilia agri quomodo crescunt: non laborant neque nent. Dico autem vobis quoniam nec Salomon in omni gloria sua coopertus est sicut unum ex istis. Si autem foenum agri, quod hodie est et cras in clibanum mittitur,Deus sic vestit: quanto magis vos modicae fidei! “Nolite ergo solliciti esse, dicentes: Quid manducabimus, aut quid bibemus, aut quo operiemur? Haec enim omnia gentes inquirunt. Scit enim Pater vester, quia his omnibus indigetis.
    “Quaerite ergo primum regnum Dei et justitiam ejus, et haec omnia adjicientur vobis.” Matt. 6:25-26 and 28-33.
  2. Prov. 31:10-28.
  3. Petits Bollandistes, vol. 8, July 18.
  4. “Numquid poterit Deus parare mensam in deserto?… Numquid et panem poterit dare aut parare mensam populo suo? Et ignis accensus est in Jacob, et ira ascendit in Israel, quia non crediderunt in Deo, nec speraverunt in salutari ejus.” Ps. 77:19-22.
  5. Luke 17:21.
  6. “Jacta super Dominum curam tuam, et ipse to enutriet.” Ps. 54:23.
  7. “Dominus regit me, et nihil deerit.” Ps. 22:1.
  8. “Mendicitatem et divitias ne dederis mihi: tribue tantum victui meo necessaria; ne forte satiatus illiciar ad negandum, et dicam: Quis est Dominus? aut egestate compulsus furer, et perjurem nomen Dei mei.” Prov. 30:8-9.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Book of Confidence - Part 3 continues


Chapter Three
Confidence in God and Our Temporal Necessities


We Must Not Trouble Ourselves about the Future

God provides for our necessities.

“Be not solicitous,” says Our Lord. What is the exact sense of this counsel? In order to obey the directions of the Master, must we completely neglect our temporal affairs?

We do not doubt that, at times, grace asks from certain souls the sacrifice required by strict poverty and total abandonment to Providence.

Nevertheless, the rarity of these vocations is notable. The others, be they religious communities or individuals, have goods; they must manage them prudently.

The Holy Ghost praises the strong woman who knows how to govern her house well. In the Book of Proverbs, He shows her to us rising very early to distribute to her servants their daily tasks and working with her own hands as well. Nothing escapes her watchfulness. The members of her household have nothing to fear. Thanks to her foresight, they shall have what is necessary, agreeable, and even, to a certain extent, moderately luxurious. Her children proclaim her blessed, and her husband exalts her virtues.2

The Truth would not have praised that woman so warmly if she had not fulfilled her obligations.

It behoves us, then, not to afflict ourselves. We must occupy ourselves reasonably with our obligations, not allowing ourselves to be dominated by anguish over the sombre prospects of the future, and counting without hesitation on the aid of Divine Providence.

Have no illusions! Such confidence demands great strength of soul. We have to avoid a double shoal: an excess and a deficiency. On the one hand, he who, from negligence, takes no interest in his obligations and affairs cannot hope for extraordinary help from God without tempting Him. On the other hand, he who gives his material concerns the first place in his thoughts, who counts more upon himself than upon God, deceives himself even more crassly; he robs the Most High of the place in his life that belongs to Him.

“In medio stat virtus”: Between these two extremes duty is found.

If we have taken prudent care of our interests, to be afflicted about the future would amount to ignoring and despising the power and the goodness of God.

During the long years Saint Paul the Hermit lived in the desert, a crow brought him a half loaf of bread every day. One day Saint Anthony came to visit the illustrious solitary. The two saints conversed for a long time, forgetting during their pious meditations the necessity for food. But Providence thought of them: The crow came, this time carrying a whole loaf.

The heavenly Father created the whole universe with one single word; can it be difficult for Him to assist His sons in their hour of need? Saint Camillus of Lellis went into debt in order to help the sick poor. Seeing this, his fellow religious became alarmed. “Why doubt Providence?” the Saint quieted them. “Can it be difficult for Our Lord to give us a little of those goods that He heaps upon the Jews and the Turks, enemies one and the other of our Faith?”3 The confidence of Camillus was not disappointed; one month later, one of his protectors, upon dying, left him a considerable sum.

To be afflicted about the future constitutes a lack of confidence that offends God and provokes His anger.

When the Hebrews became lost in the sands of the desert after their flight from Egypt, they forgot the miracles that the Lord had worked in their favour. They were afraid and murmured: “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?… Can He also give bread, or provide a table for His people?” These words angered the Lord. He hurled down fire from heaven upon them; His wrath fell over Israel, “because they believed not in God: and trusted not in His salvation.”4

There is no need to be afflicted; the Father watches over us.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Book of Confidence - Part 3 continues


Chapter Three
Confidence in God and Our Temporal Necessities


God Provides According to the Situation of Each One

Should we take these words literally and understand them in their most restricted sense?Will God give us only that which is strictly necessary: a piece of dry bread, a glass of water, a bit of cloth that our misery urgently requires? No, the heavenly Father does not treat His sons with avaricious frugality. To think thus would be to blaspheme against the Divine Goodness, and, if I may say so, to be ignorant of His ways. In the exercise of His providence, as well as in His created works, God indeed employs great prodigality.

When He spread the world out through space, He drew thousands of stars out of nothing. In the Milky Way, that immense region of luminous nights, is not every grain of sand a world?

When He feeds the birds, He invites them to the most opulent table of nature. He offers them the ear-filled corn, the grains of all kinds that mature on the plants, the fruits from the autumn woods, the seeds that the farmers scatter in the furrows. What a varied list going on to infinity for the nourishment of these humble little creatures!

When He created vegetation, with what grace did He decorate its flowers! He made a crown for them inlaid with precious jewels; He put fragrant perfumes in their chalices; He spun their petals of silk, so brilliant and delicate that the artifices of industry will never equal their beauty.

And, then, when it is a question of man, His masterpiece, the adoptive brother of the Word Incarnate, would not God show Himself to be even more generous?

Let us consider, then, as an indisputable truth, that Providence does provide abundantly for the temporal necessities of man.

Unquestionably, there will always be rich and poor on the earth. While some live in abundance, others must work and practice a wholesome economy. The heavenly Father, however, furnishes all with the means to live with a certain well-being according to the conditions in which He has placed them.

Let us return to the comparison that Jesus employs. God vested the lily splendidly with that white and perfumed garment required by its nature.

The violet was dressed more modestly; God gave it, however, that which fits its particular nature. And these two flowers blossom sweetly in the  sun, lacking nothing that is necessary to them.

And so God acts with men. He puts some of them in the higher classes of society; and others He puts in less brilliant conditions; but to the one and to the other He nevertheless gives what is necessary for maintaining their positions in a dignified way.

An objection arises here in respect to the instability of social conditions. In the present crisis, is it not easier to fall than to rise or even to maintain oneself at the same social level?

Without a doubt. But Divine Providence distributes exactly the aid necessary for each one. For great evils He sends great remedies. That which economic catastrophes take from us, we can reacquire through our industry and our work. In those very rare cases in which our activity is rendered impossible, we have the right to hope for exceptional intervention from God.

Generally (at least this is the way I think), God does not bring about falls. He desires, on the contrary, that we develop ourselves, that we rise, that we grow with prudence. If, at times, He permits a decline in our social level, He does not wish this except as a manifestation of a posterior will, a will posterior to the action of our free will. More often than not, such a decline results from our own fault, either personal or hereditary. It is commonly a natural consequence of laziness, prodigality, or of various passions.

And even though a man has fallen, he can raise himself back up and, with the help of Providence, regain by his efforts the situation that he has lost.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Book of Confidence - Fr. Thomas De Saint Laurent - Chapter 3


Chapter Three
Confidence in God and Our Temporal Necessities

God Provides for Our Temporal Necessities

Confidence, we have already said, is a heroic hope; it does not differ from the common hope of all the faithful except in its degree of perfection. It is, then, exercised upon the same objects as that virtue but by means of acts that are more intense and vibrant.

Like ordinary hope, confidence expects from our heavenly Father all the aids necessary for living a holy life here on earth and for meriting the happiness of Paradise. It expects, first of all, temporal goods, to the degree that these can lead us to our final end.

There is nothing more logical. We cannot proceed to conquer heaven as pure spirits; we are composed of body and soul. The body that the Creator formed with His adorable hands is our inseparable companion in our terrestrial existence, and it will also be the partaker of our eternal fortune after the general resurrection.We cannot act without its assistance in the battle for the conquest of our blessed life.

Now, then, in order to maintain itself and to fulfil its task completely, the body has multiple demands. It is necessary that Providence satisfy these demands, and it does so magnificently.

God takes upon Himself the responsibility of providing for our necessities, and this He does generously. He follows us with a vigilant eye and does not leave us in need. Amidst material difficulties, even anguishing ones, we must not become disturbed. With complete certainty we must hope to receive from the Divine Hands that which is necessary to maintain our lives.

“Therefore I say to you,” declares the Saviour, “be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body more than the raiment?

“Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of such more value than they? …And for raiment why are you solicitous?

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven God doth so clothe; how much more
you, O ye of little faith?

“Be not solicitous therefore, saying ‘What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed?’ For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.

“Seek ye, therefore, first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”1

It is not enough for us to skip lightly over this discourse of Our Lord. We must fix our attention on it for a long time in order to seek its profound significance and to imbue our souls deeply with its doctrine.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Importance of Chastity - Dr. Plinio Correa

In the midst of today’s moral decay, Holy Mother Church presents Saint Maria Goretti as a model of the battle against immorality. A role model of heroic purity, Maria Goretti invites us to be faithful to the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church by fighting for purity, and opposing the liberal, permissive tendencies of our contemporary world.
The Church has always instilled this form of bravery in defense of virtue. That is why a faithful Catholic should prefer death to losing his or her purity. Unfortunately, today the very mention of the virtue of purity fills men and women with human respect, “what will people think?” But the Church teaches that purity is a virtue that must be practiced bravely and to perfection, a virtue which must be honored as a value in and of itself.
Much has been said about a truly Christian social order, but there can be no true social order without the family and there can be no true family without purity. Few dare to talk about another aspect of the practice of the virtue of purity: chastity according to one’s state in life, be it perfect chastity or married chastity. Purity must be practiced and defended in these two holy forms. The political and social order will inevitably crumble in ambiances where the virtue of purity is disregarded. Thus, there can be no preservation of the social and political order, nor the seriousbuilding of Christian civilization without a foun-dation based on purity–among other virtues.

Thomas Cardinal Collins


A picture of Thomas Cardinal Collins of Toronto with two priests of the Heralds of the Gospel in Rome.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pictures about St Don Bosco on his feast day 31st January 2012

On the bed that can bee seen here below, Don Bosco spent his final days.
This was Don Bosco's room between 1861 and 1887
This is the small chapel in which Don Bosco celebrated Mass during the last years of his life.
All pictures courtesy http://www.donbosco-torino.it/eng/page17.html

Monday, January 30, 2012

St. Marcella - 31st January 2012

(325–410) She was a Christian ascetic in ancient Rome. Growing up in Rome, she was influenced by her pious mother, Albina, an educated woman of wealth and benevolence. Childhood memories centered around piety, and one in particular related to Athanasius, who lodged in her home during one of his many exiles. He may have taken special interest in her, thinking back to his own youthful practice of playing church. Athanasius interacted with his hosts on theological matters and recounted anecdotes of his own monastic life. His most spellbinding stories, however, were the miraculous tales of the desert monks. As a parting gift he left behind the first copy of his biography, The Life of St. Anthony. Marcella’s wealth and beauty placed her at the center of fashionable Roman society. She married young, to a wealthy aristocrat, but less than a year later he died. Her time of mourning over, young men soon came calling again. After her husband’s early death, she decided to devote the rest of her life to charity, prayer, and mortification of the flesh and was convinced that God was directing her to a life of poverty and service, she shocked her social circle when she left behind her fashionable dresses for a coarse brown garment and abandoned her usual extravagant hair styling and makeup. Appearing as a low-class woman, she started a trend as other young women join her. They formed a community known as the brown dress society, spending their time praying, singing, reading the Bible, and serving the needy. Her palatial home was now a refuge for weary pilgrims and for the poor. After her husband’s early death, she decided to devote the rest of her life to charity, prayer, and mortification of the flesh.

 Summoned by Bishop Damasus (who arranges lodging at Marcella’s hospitality house), Jerome arrived in 382. It was an exhilarating time for this woman of letters, who had immersed herself in both Greek and Hebrew, to be entertaining one of the great minds of the age. He spent the next three years in what he called her “domestic church,” translating the Bible into Latin. She learned under his teaching even as she critiqued his translation. He spoke and wrote of her Christian devotion and scholarship and commended her influence on Anastasius, bishop of Rome — particularly in his condemning Origen’s doctrines, which Jerome declared a “glorious victory.” Indeed, his admiration of Marcella was unbounded, not only for her intellectual acumen but also for her deference to men who might be threatened by her vast store of knowledge.

 Marcella, however, was also known for her efforts to restrain Jerome from quarreling with his opponents — or at least helping him control his legendary temper. Eleven of his extant letters are addressed to her, and she is mentioned in many of his other writings. In one of his letters he responded to her query about the truth of Montanism. Someone was apparently attempting to convert her, and she was deeply interested in what she is hearing, though suspecting that the claim that they possess a more authentic spirituality might have been false. Jerome writes a lengthy point-by-point refutation of the movement and then concludes: “It was at the home of Marcella that Jerome first met Paula, a devoted and scholarly woman who would become his long-time intellectual counterpart. When Jerome returned to the Holy Land, Paula relocated there as well. They invited Marcella to join them, but she remained in Rome to oversee her growing house of virgins, where she was addressed as Mother. But hard times were ahead of her. She was in her late seventies in 410, when the Goths, led by Alaric, pillaged the city. Soldiers stormed the residence, demanding she relinquish her hidden jewels and wealth, which long before had been sold to fund her charitable work. When she had nothing to give them, they struck her down. She was taken to a church set up as a sanctuary, but she died the next day.” Her Aventine Hill palace became a center of Christian activity. She was an associate of Saint Paula. Saint Jerome corresponded with her, and he called her “the glory of the ladies of Cadereyta.”

Friday, January 27, 2012

Considerations on the Conversion of Saint Paul - Dr. Plinio Correa

As Saint Paul was struck off his horse, he was shaken by the turn of events when Our Lord asked him the question “Why persecutest thou Me?” In other words, open your eyes! Examine your conscience! Realize the fact that you are doing something which, if you make an upright examination of conscience, you will find that it is wrong.

Our Lord’s question was reminiscent of one Our Lord Himself asked the man who hit Him during His Passion: “If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou Me?”

In fact, Saint Paul gave no answer to Him because he had none to give. He simply responded: “Who art Thou, Lord?” And he said “Lord” right away because he sensed Who it really was. Our Lord answered: “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.”

By saying “Whom thou persecutest,” Our Lord made clear Who He is. He was telling Saint Paul: See Who I am. See Who you are persecuting, and therefore measure how hideous your crime is.

After this, Our Lord adds a somewhat mysterious statement: “It is hard for thee to kick against the goad.” The goad is the wind. He was saying that it is hard to oppose the wind. In this case, the wind is the blowing wind of grace that for a while had been calling Paul to conversion, but he resisted it. The context at least leads to this hypothesis.

Saint Paul answered in his own radical way. He wasted no time. He saw that he was wrong and placed himself at the service of God. He asked: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me do?” The Acts of the Apostles say that he was trembling and astonished as he asked the question. In other words, the blow had hit home. He was disoriented and afraid. He was shaken as he went through a short ordeal of a few minutes which completely changed him and shook his soul. Our Lord then said to him: “Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

Why did Our Lord not tell him what to do right away? The whole dialogue took place while Saint Paul was blinded and prostrated on the ground. He was told to arise and go to the city and find out what he must do. In other words, he must receive Our Lord’s orders slowly, subjecting himself with humility like a child who takes orders from his superior.

Our Lord was telling him: Go, therefore, groping and advancing step by step, to find out what I want, because I am your Lord and command you as a servant, who is under his Lord’s orders and can do nothing else.

Thus, Saint Paul did not know what God wanted of him. He did not even know if God might want him to remain blind for his whole life. He, the great Paul, the excellent and illustrious Pharisee, was now going to enter the city of Damascus like a child, led by the hand. In other words, it was the complete breakdown of his pride. The text of the Acts ends thus: “But they leading him by the hands, brought him to Damascus.”

In other words, he entered Damascus as a blind man. There he would be blind for a few days, until the scales would fall from his eyes.